Jumat, 17 April 2015

INDONESIA INCREASES GLOBAL ROLE IN ASIA-AFRICA CONFERENCE

 by Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, April 17 (Antara) - The 60th anniversary celebrations of the Asia-Africa Conference (AAC), which will take place in Jakarta and Bandung from April 19 to 24, 2015, is a good opportunity for Indonesia to increase its global role.
         The spirit of the first ACC, which was hosted by Indonesia in April 1955, was to stand for the freedom of Asian and African countries from colonialism.
         Today, 60 years later, Asian and African countries have gained independence and colonialism has been eliminated. Yet, the spirit of the AAC must remain, albeit for different objectives, such as global welfare and progress and world peace and security.
        As the host of the AAC, Indonesia can use the event as an opportunity to strengthen its role in promoting regional and international cooperation between nations.
        "Indonesia should seize the opportunity to utilize the 60th anniversary commemoration forum of the AAC to lead development cooperation, particularly among the AAC member countries," Professor Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, an economic observer from the Business and Economic Faculty of Padjajaran University, stated on Friday.

Kamis, 16 April 2015

MAHAKAM TAKEOVER TRANSITION EXPECTED TO RUN SMOOTHLY

 by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, April 16 (Antara) - State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina, which has officially been appointed to take over oil rich Mahakam Block in East Kalimantan, is optimistic that the management transition will run smoothly.
        Pertamina Upstream Director Syamsu Alam said on Thursday that the government has issued an official letter appointing Pertamina to manage the Mahakam Block after the contract of the current operator, Total Exploration and Production (Total E&P) Indonesie, expires in 2017.
        According to Alam, Pertamina received the letter from Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said on Tuesday night. Pertamina will take over the gas block from Total E&P Indonesie after the French oil giant ends its contract.
         Pertamina will now discuss at length the transition period with Total E&P Indonesie, Syamsu Alam added. Alam is optimistic the transition of the management of the oil block from Total E&P Indonesie and Inpex Corporation will run smoothly as his company already has experience in that field.

Rabu, 15 April 2015

SAUDI GOVT SHOULD HAVE NOTIFIED RI OF ITS EXECUTION PLAN

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 15 (Antara) - The Saudi Government should have informed Indonesia its plan to execute Indonesian death convict Siti Zaenab who was found guilty of murdering her Saudi employer.
         International law professor at the University of Indonesia (UI) Hikmahanto Juwana said the Indonesian Government could do nothing about the execution of its citizen because it concerned the legal sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.
         However, the Saudi Government has made a consular mistake by carrying out the execution without notifying any Indonesian representative about it, the international law professor noted on Wednesday.
        According to Hikmahanto, in accordance with international affairs, a nation has the obligation to notify countries concerned before executing their citizens.
       Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged its strong protest and summoned the Saudi ambassador seeking an explanation with regard to the matter.

Selasa, 14 April 2015

AAC EXPECTED TO BOOST INDONESIA'S TOURISM

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 14 (Antara) - Besides fostering solidarity among Asian and African countries, the 60th anniversary events of the Asian-African Conference (AAC) in Jakarta and Bandung from April 19 to 24, 2015, is also expected to boost Indonesia's tourism.
         Indonesia's tourism industry will gain from the meetings that will be held throughout the event as the country will be in the center of the world's attention.
         Moreover, some 1,000 mass media representatives, including foreigners, will cover the events.
         During the conference, Indonesia can also promote its tourism branding "Wonderful Indonesia" and its MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) programs.
         Organizers have been asked to adorn the airport of Bandung, the provincial capital that hosted the first AAC in 1955, with flowers and make it more attractive.

Senin, 13 April 2015

INDONESIA TO LAUNCH ONE-MILLION HOUSE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

  By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 13 (Antara) -- The government must prioritize low-income people in its one million housing development program, which will be launched at the end of the month.
         The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry and state-owned housing developer PT Perumnas will team up to carry out the government program of building one million units of houses over the next five years.
         Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said that his ministry will start work this year to reduce the big backlog in the implementation of the housing program. 
    According to Hadimuljono, the government already set aside Rp13 trillion from the state budget and Rp500 million from the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) for the program to build one million units of houses.

         It has also allocated Rp220 billion in the revised State Budget 2015 for assistance in the down payment for housing credits. Those entitled to the financial assistance are buyers of modest houses who earn a maximum salary of Rp4 million per month and buyers of modest apartments who earn a salary of Rp7 million per month.
         So far, low-income people have been forgotten in the development of public housing. Therefore, the Indonesian Property Watch has urged the government to give priority to this group of people.

Minggu, 12 April 2015

CEPU BLOCK PROVIDES NEW HOPE FOR LOCALS

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 12 (Antara) - Indonesia's Banyu Urip oil field in the Cepu Block in East and Central Java, which saw its maiden 550,000 barrel oil lifting on Sunday, provides new hopes for the locals and the nation.
         With an expected 165,000 barrels of oil production per day by the end of 2015, the Cepu Block, which will contribute 25-30 percent to the national oil output, will bring greatest positive impacts on the local people around the operation areas.
         "What is important is the social impact of this project where the local people in the operation areas will be happy because the project will function as a new economic driver from the oil and gas sector," Satya Widya, the deputy chairman of Commission VII on energy affairs of the House of Representatives (DPR) said on Sunday.

Sabtu, 11 April 2015

MULTIPLE APPROACHES NEEDED TO FIGHT RADICALISM

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 11 (Antara) -- Radicalism in Indonesia cannot be handled with security measures and by blocking radical websites alone but requires multiple approaches.
         These include instilling a spirit of anti-radicalism in youths and implementing balanced tactics by taking multiple aspects into account.
         Early childhood education is a branch of education that can help to prevent the spread of radicalism. "Through early childhood education, they can learn about tolerance. It (the ideology) should be implanted in them from an early age," Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa stated here on Saturday.
         "From an early age, they can develop an understanding of cultural diversity and pluralism, and through these efforts, tolerance and moderation can be ingrained in them," the minister affirmed.
         A survey revealed that one out of 14 lower and upper secondary school students favored the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
         "If such conditions develop, efforts to prevent the spread of radicalism will become more difficult. However, we can prevent such thinking by instilling multiculturalism and pluralism in youths from an early age. Through this step, we can prevent radicalism from spreading and instill tolerance and moderation in youths from an early age," the minister explained.